China’s latest plan to reverse coastal damage is a rest-stop for migrating birds
For a country that has received so much flak for its rate of environmental decline, China really seems to be pulling up its socks—and setting a global precedent while they are at it. The most recent development in the country’s bid for an ecologically-minded future is the Liangang Eco Park, a rest-stop for migrating birds.
Fifty million birds make the journey from the Arctic Circle down to Australia and New Zealand each year. Most intertidal areas along the way in East and South East Asia where the birds might have stopped to feed over the course of their journeys have now been encroached upon by coastal urban development; meaning fewer birds are able to survive the seasonal ordeal, and a large number of species are slowly going extinct. The Liangang Eco Park is set to reverse the damage done.
Landscape architects McGregor Coxall have designed the sanctuary over 60 hectares—over a landfill site in the Liangang area of Tianjin city—and have made provisions for three different water habitats, suited for 50 species of birds. Working in close collaboration with ornithologists Avifauna Research, the architects have made calculated decisions to include relevant site soils, feed sources and vegetation. Water—sourced from rain harvesting and the recycling of water waste—will be moved through the park’s wetlands by renewable energy mechanisms. A 20-hectare forest will surround the wetlands to protect from urban intrusion.
The idea is nothing short of brilliant: besides offering much-needed respite to migratory bird species, it gives the city of Tianjin a new set of lungs, in addition to providing residents with an outdoor recreational space. Two, it brings in tourist revenue—the park is slated to received nothing short of a half-million visitors each year. For this, the architects have designed the Water Pavilion, a high-tech education and research centre, from which visitors can watch the birds through 14 cameras hidden around the sanctuary. Additionally, there will be three observation pods, wetland trails, a cycle circuit and a forest walk.
The park is slated to open in 2018. Here’s hoping we see similar eco parks come up closer home.
! A ArchitecturalDigest release | February 27, 2017 ||
Millennial business travellers will expect the convenience of on-demand travel services in their work lives, the head of Uber for Business has said.
Travis Bogard, global head of Uber Enterprise, said 80% of business travellers are now millennials, who are increasingly using ride haling apps including Uber instead of buying cars because of their price and efficiency.
“What we’ve already seen with the consumerisation of IT is that expectation of personal life translates into your expectation of work and your business experience,” he said.
Speaking at the Business Travel Show in London yesterday, Bogard said technology could also improve visibility, streamline expensing and improve safety.
Ground transport often makes up half of the line items on expense reports but accounts for only 8% of spend, “a disproportionate amount of time” for a small amount of money he said. “On average its about £46 of money and 20 minutes of time to process an expense report. And one in five of those expense reports gets pushed back... Companies need to think how to streamline that process for employees, they need a more streamlined expense reporting process.”
Mobile technologies, like the services Uber provides, can allow travel bills to be paid directly by a company or can send digital receipts directly to expenses systems. “We’ve all but removed that friction and exhaustive process of submitting expenses,” he said.
Mobile apps can also help improve compliance by integrating the travel policy into the booking experience, said Bogard. “At the time of requesting it, it tells [travellers], ‘If you’re going to try and request a black [luxury] car right now, you’re going to have to put it on your personal card, you can’t put it on the business one’. You can actually bring that policy to the point of making the decision, so you’re no longer dealing with this at the back office after the money’s spent.”
As well as improving visibility on spend, Bogard claimed the live data Uber provided could improve security by providing employers with detailed information, such as where their employees are and who is driving them, as opposed to what he called “static” data, such as flight details or hotel bookings.
On the future of driverless cars, however, Bogard said the technology would “take longer than most people believe or talk about today”. “I think the reality is we’re talking a way away from that world of transition, and I think what we want to do with that time period is think about how we’re going to make a graceful transition.”
In the short term, he sees the demand for more drivers and vehicles “well outpacing beyond what self driving will actually be able to deliver”.
| A SupplyManagement release | February 27, 2017 ||
African carrier also plans to upscale and retool its technical department.
Etihad Airways Engineering, the maintenance division of the Abu-Dhabi based airline group, has signed a contract with Kenya Airways to carry out mandatory checks on its Boeing 787-8 fleet.
The first of six scheduled Boeing 787 C-checks will begin this month at its facility in the UAE, with the final check scheduled for October 2017.
During the heavy maintenance checks, Kenya is also planning a number of product and reliability improvement modifications to systems and components.
Martyn Haines, technical director at Kenya Airways, said: "We will use this opportunity to upscale and retool some of our technical department, who will be onsite to provide oversight of all work being done.
Haines also said that the agreement also opens up some other collaborative opportunities including training programs.
“We have an ongoing maintenance programme of small and large checks across our other fleets, with all of these scheduled for completion within our maintenance facility,” he added.
Air travel for pets can be a complex and difficult process, which is why one of the world’s top airports has rolled out a USD 65 million animal terminal and quarantine facility with round-the-clock service.
The airport is New York City’s John F. Kennedy International, which last week launched the first phase of its round-the-clock pet catering services.
Located in a 16,500-square-metre warehouse, the ARK Pet Oasis aims to streamline air travel for pets and livestock. It also provides concierge-like services, ensures pets have their documents in order and looks after their health – even clips their toenails if that’s what they need.
Staff stand ready to help at ARK Pet Oasis
ARK Pet Oasis says on its website: “Throughout North and South America, pets transported as live animal cargo and excess baggage spend hours pre- and post-flight confined in their transport crates, sitting in a cargo warehouse without food, water or relief.
“ARK Pet Oasis seeks to mitigate both the pet parent’s and the animal’s concern and anxiety. While we cannot change your traveling pet’s experience while in flight aboard the aircraft, studies have shown that the superlative care provided pre- and post flight greatly reduces the stress of travel.”
| A Peter Needham article on e-GlobalTravel | February 21, 2017 ||
Sichuan Airlines (3U) will begin three direct flights per week between Auckland and Chengdu from 13 June 2017.
The new 3U schedule will feature an A330-200 aircraft, with Business and Economy Class configuration and operate initially on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The flight will take 13 hours direct from New Zealand to the Southwest part of China.
The flights – coded 3U8910/8909 – will depart Auckland at 20:30 to reach Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport around 06:00, with a 01:55 overnight return leg arriving into Auckland at 18:45.
Sichuan Airlines Company was founded on 19 September 1986. Currently it has more than 215 routes, a well-operating network integrating main, secondary, international, regional and branch routes, contributing to the transportation system of the regional comprehensive transportation hub.
Boeing has whipped the (very long) covers off the latest addition to the Dreamliner family. The 787-10 was launched during President Trump's visit to the Boeing factory in South Carolina, and blends the outstanding fuel efficiency of the existing 787-8 and 787-9 with room for even more passengers.
Compared to the existing 787-9, the 787-10 has gone through a fairly serious growth spurt. The new plane is 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer, which helps free space for 330 passengers in a two-class cabin, a 14 percent improvement over the 290-passenger 787-9. Boeing also says there's also room for 15 percent more cargo than before, giving airlines even more space to overcharge for baggage they'll inevitably break.ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads
Maximum range is now pegged at 6,430 nautical miles (7,400 mi/11,910 km) which is a not-insignificant 1,205 nautical miles (1,387 mi/2,232 km) less than the 787-9 can manage. You can blame that on the extra capacity and size, both of which are the enemies of efficiency.
Although it can't match the smaller members of the Dreamliner family, the 787-10 is still much more efficient than planes of a similar size. Boeing says its new model uses up to 10 percent less fuel than its nearest competitor, and 25 percent less than the planes it's likely to replace. Not only does that represent a significant cost saving for airlines, it also should help cut emissions across the whole industry, something that benefits everyone.The 787-10 Dreamliner will seat 330 people
"This airplane, the most efficient in its class, is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our Boeing teammates, suppliers and community partners in South Carolina and across the globe," says Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. "We know our customers, including launch customer Singapore Airlines, are going to love what the 787-10 will do for their fleets, and we can't wait to see them fly it."
The new Dreamliner will be arriving with airlines in 2018 and, given that Boeing has already received 149 orders, they shouldn't be hard to spot at the world's airports. The plane will make its maiden flight in the coming weeks.
Airbnb has snatched up Montreal-based vacation rental company, Luxury Retreats, which has 4000 homes in 100 destinations worldwide, including 14 properties over in New Zealand, although none in Australia yet.
As some of the more major competitors to big disruptors like Airbnb, Luxury Retreats offers high-quality listings, concierge service and a range of amenities to travellers.
Naturally, as Airbnb continues its steep growth, such a business not only complements Airbnb’s existing offerings, but an acquisition ensures competition becomes almost none existent.
Luxury Retreats CEO Joe Poulin will join Airbnb and lead luxury homes, reporting to Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, while the Luxury Retreats team will remain based in Montreal.
In the short-term, Luxury Retreats will continue to operate as a standalone entity, but over time, Luxury Retreats listings will be highlighted and integrated into the Airbnb community.
All of the approximately 250 members of Luxury Retreats team will join the Airbnb global family and continue to focus on bringing more high-quality homes to the Airbnb listings.
“From airbeds in an apartment to castles to villas, Airbnb has always been focused on providing a broad range of amazing experiences and trips,” said Chesky.
“I have spent countless hours with Joe and his team and seen firsthand their passion for delivering amazing hospitality and unforgettable experiences in spectacular places around the world. They share our values and I’m excited to work with the Luxury Retreats team to serve more travelers.
“The incredible energy and talent in these teams will help support our mission and grow our community and I’m confident that we will expand our team in Canada in the months and years ahead.”
“Montreal is known as an innovative city that is looking forward,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. “I’m pleased that a large company like Airbnb has chosen to invest in Montreal by their investment in Luxury Retreats and that its activities will continue to be based here.
“Airbnb has revolutionized global hospitality, connecting a vibrant community of hosts and guests to deliver a tremendous amount of unique travel experiences,” said Luxury Retreats founder and CEO Joe Poulin.
“Brian’s vision, values and approach mirror what Luxury Retreats has been focused on in the luxury market since 1999. We are thrilled to join the Airbnb family with a continued commitment of delivering quality, luxury travel experiences.”
Auckland Airport and Tainui Group Holdings have announced an agreement to develop a new 5-star hotel adjacent to Auckland Airport’s international terminal and the existing 4-star Novotel hotel. The new premium 250-room hotel will be operated by AccorHotels under the Pullman brand.
While the additional hotel development has long been a feature of Auckland Airport’s ‘airport of the future’ vision, Mark Thomson, Auckland Airport’s general manager - property, says the timing has been influenced by unprecedented demand for hotel accommodation in Auckland. Building the hotel now also responds directly to strong demand for accommodation that provides easy access to the airport terminals.
“Auckland Airport plays a key role in New Zealand’s growing tourism industry and in connecting Auckland to New Zealand and New Zealand to the world. This hotel, which will benefit from its premium location adjacent to the international terminal and the current Novotel, will provide more choices for travellers looking for high quality accommodation within walking distance of both terminals,” says Mr Thomson.
“Being able to walk to the terminals, rather than drive, has considerable appeal to hotel patrons and will also help reduce vehicle movements on our roads.”
The new hotel will trade as the Pullman Auckland Airport and will be developed in a 50:50 partnership with Tainui Group Holdings. As part of this agreement, Auckland Airport has increased its ownership stake in the Novotel hotel to 50%.
“The partnership with Tainui Group Holdings and AccorHotels has been very successful and we are pleased to be extending this relationship to another hotel project,” says Mr Thomson.
The hotel building will carry the name ‘Te Arikinui’, which is the chiefly title that the Late Maori Queen Te Atairangikaahu chose when she ascended to the Te Wherowhero (throne) at the time of her Coronation. The chiefly associations of Te Arikinui are in keeping with the 5-star premium experience to be offered at the hotel.
Chris Joblin, Chief Executive of Tainui Group Holdings, says that this agreement reflects the strength of the relationship that has been established between Tainui Group Holdings and Auckland Airport.
“This is an exciting project that will result in two complementary assets located in an exceptional position at New Zealand’s main gateway. This creates tremendous scope to create a unique, authentic New Zealand experience for airport visitors and hotel guests including through unique cultural elements incorporated in the design,” says Mr Joblin.
Construction is expected to start by the end of this year, with the hotel scheduled to open by late 2019. By this time, Auckland Airport’s international terminal will have undergone significant expansion and work will already be underway on the domestic section of our future combined domestic and international terminal.
Auckland Airport is currently investing more than $1 million every working day on infrastructure improvements, and expects this level of investment will likely continue into the near future.
Dreamt of having a lunch meeting in Paris and getting back to New York City in time to tuck the kids into bed? That’s what Joshua Krall of Boom Technology says his supersonic commercial jet will be able to do for you. Krall is revealing this dream at the first-ever Rescale Night in the United States.
It was a sad day in 2003 when the Concorde was grounded, cancelling the chance of supersonic flight for all civilians. The Concorde, with its sleek shape and massive jets, was easily the sexiest commercial jet ever. It made every other passenger jet look slow and dumpy. But its fuel guzzling proved to be too much for the airlines that flew it. Tickets higher than $10,000 (that was 40 years ago) were not enough to turn a profit.
The Boom SST, currently available only as a 3D CAD model, is a smaller, lighter and more modern Concorde. It will probably have Wi-Fi.
The entire company is smaller than a single division of Boeing or Airbus. “We have 25 people,” said Krall. “But almost all of them are engineers ... and we are growing.” Boom has landed a $2.1 million round of funding. A letter of intent by Virgin to buy 10 SSTs should lead to more funding. The company is now able to add to its Denver-based staff and expand facilities. We see the Boom’s servers next to a toilet. “It was the only room we had,” laughed Krall.I am reminded of how, from humble beginnings, William Boeing started his airplane company with only one engineer, the legendary Wong Tsu of China.
The Boom SST will fly at Mach 2.2, a bit faster than the Concorde. At a top speed of 1,450 mph, you will get from New York City to Paris in 3 hours and 15 minutes. And it will be cheaper. Boom projects you can get onboard with a $2,500 business class ticket.
How Now?Boom cites three reasons why its plane will be the new success of supersonic commercial flight:
Fuel efficiency. Jet engines have made a few improvements since the days of the Concorde.
Better aerodynamics. The Boom shares the air-piercing look of the Concorde. Boomers are spending a lot of time tweaking the design, and subtle changes have led to aerodynamic improvements. Boom makes heavy use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, which allows for rapid consideration of design changes.
Less weight. Boom employs widespread-use of carbon fiber composites.
Boom is joined in the quest for a supersonic civilian flight by Spike, whose S-512 will fly at Mach 1.6.
NASA has also been flying an SST demonstrator, the QueSST, which flies at Mach 1.4.
RescaleDoing hundreds of CFD analyses a day doesn’t come cheap. Unlike NASA, a small company like Boom cannot be expected to own supercomputers. (There may not be enough space in the men's room.) Instead, Boom makes use of computers via Rescale, another startup, which lets Boom run CFD on hundreds of cores on high performance computers, just like the big boys. Being able to rent hardware this way alleviates small companies from large capital expenditures and allows them to use their funding to get the brains on the job. Boom brags about its dream team, all of them industry vets, engineers and builders.
Rescale lists hundreds of software titles, including engineering software like ANSYS Fluent, CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ and COMSOL for CFD. All are based on pay per use, so there are no upfront license costs.
Having access to supercomputing is a concept that seems to be catching on, if only judging by the amount of investment that software as a service (SaaS) is receiving. Rescale has received over $20 million in funding, with $14 million of it in May 2016.
Rescale competes with SIMSCALE, which also offers engineering software on a SaaS model.
| An engineering.com release | February 14, 2017 ||
Ever wondered how flowers are transported around the world? - by Better Homes and Gardens
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, has unveiled a unique decal featuring a rose on one of its Boeing 777-F freighter aircraft ahead of Valentine’s day. The decal, installed at the Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre in Dubai, is the first of its kind for Emirates SkyCargo and highlights the strong contribution made by the air cargo carrier to the floriculture industry through the transport of fresh flowers across the world.
One of the first ports of call for the aircraft will be Nairobi in Kenya, where the aircraft will be loaded with a consignment of flowers headed to Amsterdam- the world’s largest flower distribution centre.
Every day Emirates SkyCargo transports fresh flowers across its global network of over 150 destinations. This includes the flowers transported on board dedicated freighters from major flower exporting countries such as Kenya and Ecuador directly to Amsterdam, as well as flowers transported in the belly hold of the aircraft from countries as far and diverse as India, New Zealand, Vietnam, Zambia, and Ethiopia. Between January and December 2016, Emirates SkyCargo transported over 70,000 tonnes of fresh flowers around the world.
Although the transportation of flowers is a year-round activity, there is a marked increase in the volume of flowers - in particular roses - being transported around Valentine’s Day which is the single most important annual date for floriculturists worldwide. It is estimated that close to 250 million stems of roses are grown worldwide exclusively to cater to the increased demand for flowers around Valentine’s Day. Emirates SkyCargo adds supplementary cargo capacity every year in the major flower trade lanes to be able to bring the additional volumes of flowers to Aalsmeer - the world’s largest flower auction house in Amsterdam - and from there onwards to other global destinations.
In the week running up to Valentine’s this year, Emirates SkyCargo has operated 4 freighters over and above the daily scheduled freighter service from Nairobi bringing close to an additional 350 tonnes of flowers into Amsterdam. Additional capacity was also deployed to supplement the thrice weekly freighter service between Quito in Ecuador and Amsterdam in order to cater to the demand around Valentine’s Day.
By facilitating the global export of flowers from countries such as Kenya and Ecuador, Emirates SkyCargo also makes an important economic contribution to these regions where the cultivation of flowers is an important local industry. The floriculture industry supports employment for an estimated half a million people in Kenya and over 100,000 people in Ecuador.
The journey of a flower usually begins in a farm where it is harvested by hand. The freshly harvested flowers are then sorted, arranged in bouquets and hand packed into boxes which are then loaded on the aircraft. In order to ensure maximum freshness and shelf life, the temperature in the cargo hold of the aircraft is maintained between 1 and 3 degrees centigrade.
Emirates Skycargo also offers a range of innovative cool chain solutions to ensure that the flowers are maintained at the right temperature from the origin to destination. One such solution is ‘White Cover’- an innovative temperature protection solution that is cost efficient and environmentally friendly. Designed to shield temperature-sensitive cargo from solar heat during transportation, it is water resistant, yet breathable making it ideal for the transport flowers.
Emirates SkyCargo has been at the forefront of the cargo industry operating a young and modern fleet of 255 aircraft including 15 dedicated freighters- 13 Boeing 777-Fs and two Boeing 747-400ERFs. The carrier also offers a number of specialised transportation solutions for customers across different business verticals such as pharmaceuticals and automobile.